SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2002--Saving money is a top priority for holiday travelers this year, according to a recent survey by discount travel site Hotwire. Eighty percent of all respondents say they plan to spend $500 or less per person on holiday travel this year, with more than half -- 57 percent -- planning to spend $250 or less per person.
And while travelers want to keep spending low, time with loved ones ranks high on holiday wish lists this year. Of those planning to travel, 68 percent will spend the December holidays with family or close friends.
To help holiday travelers find the best availability and fares, this year Hotwire introduced its Plan Smart holiday booking guide, a resource to help consumers search for and book holiday travel. The Plan Smart holiday booking guide can be found on the Hotwire Web site, under Three Ways to Save, or by entering the URL: http://www.hotwire.com/travel-information/plan-smart.jsp.
Airline capacity cuts over the past year mean fewer available seats for travelers who wait until the last minute. As a result, Hotwire advises travelers to book as early as possible to find open seats and the best fares. Additionally, Hotwire offers the following advice for booking holiday air travel:
-- Think beyond the usual - consider a vacation in early December or after the second week of January for lower fares and hotel rates. Best fares and availability can be found December 5-15, and after January 6.
-- For holiday-specific travel, booking on off-peak days -- when more seats are available -- can result in much better fares. Peak days usually yield higher fares because demand is greater. The following are peak days to avoid when searching for the best fares:
-- November 26-27, 2002
-- December 1-2, 2002
-- December 20-23, 2002
-- December 27-29, 2002
-- January 4-5, 2003
-- Be flexible on dates, times and airport for better prices. Searching fares for more than one airport in a city can often yield a lower price.
-- Book rental cars as soon as possible. Reduced fleets mean less availability and higher rates closer to the holidays.
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